How to test your RAM for errors

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 26, 2007
Updated • Mar 5, 2013

It you purchase new ram, a new or used computer or experience crashes and bluescreens you should definitely test the memory installed on your computer to make sure that it is running without errors. Faulty memory is one of the main reasons for instability. The first task should be to make sure that the memory is correctly inserted into the memory banks. Make sure you count the number of bars and check if you are running dual channel mode or not.

If you are not sure what all of this means, consult the manual that shipped with your motherboard. If you purchased a PC instead, you may find the manual in electronic form on the hard drive. If not, contact the manufacturer of the PC to find out more about it.

Download the free software Memtest86+ as an iso image (currently Memtest 3.3 iso) and burn it to a CD or DVD. In many newer versions of Windows, you can simply right-click the ISO and select the burn to disc option that should be displayed here. If that is not the case, try a program like ImgBurn instead which you can do the burning with.

Reboot your computer afterwards and boot the CD that you just created. You might need to change the boot order in your bios to be able to boot from CD. Memtest86+ is starting automatically from CD and performing in depth memory tests that could take hours to complete.

If errors are encountered during the test you know that you have faulty RAM and need to replace it. If you have more than one RAM bar installed you should test them separately to make sure you know which one is the faulty one. I ran the test just a few hours ago and realized that one of my ram bars is indeed faulty which made me order new RAM immediately.



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  1. Cody Bonney said on May 5, 2011 at 2:44 am

    This is a great little program. I’ve used it several times to test ram for customers.

  2. Sherman Unkefer said on January 2, 2011 at 10:02 am

    RAM Errors, ntfs.sys at startup, and a setupdd.sys error 4 in setup. Someone enlighten me.?

  3. Jeevan - Best Videos Online said on September 8, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    My computer at work keeps crashing for no apparent reason. I’ll run a memory test and report back.

  4. Peter Liddy said on March 16, 2009 at 9:45 am

    Dante, I just wish i knew what ‘mission critical computers’ were? Is that like NASA or Tom Cruise or something?

  5. DDodge said on August 5, 2008 at 2:46 am

    I tend to use more than memtest86 as it is newer and supports more of the motherboards I have used. Just a heads up.

  6. Bush Mackel said on July 26, 2007 at 7:39 pm

    Thankfully, I was lucky enough to have MEMTEST on my mobo the last time I built a rig!

    1. Anonymous said on December 13, 2011 at 6:33 am

      Thanks for giving Suggetion.

  7. Benóný (Iceland) said on July 26, 2007 at 6:36 pm

    haha Thank you Martin :$ :’) hihi

  8. Martin said on July 26, 2007 at 5:26 pm

    Benóný CD = Compact Disk :P

    Faust-C, most users will have troubles starting the memtest which is why they probably prefer this method.

  9. Faust-C said on July 26, 2007 at 5:00 pm

    Just a note that most linux distros have a memtest that comes w/ them standard. So rather than wasting a whole CD-R/RW, just use that old knoppix disk …

  10. Benóný (Iceland) said on July 26, 2007 at 4:42 pm

    “compact disk”
    isn’t that just a regular CD-R Disk? or do I have to bye some sort of special CD?

  11. maquete eletronica 3d said on July 26, 2007 at 4:10 pm

    another great utility, thanks ghacks

    you know, sometimes whn your windows is freezing a lot this maybe is occouring by a memory error, thanks

  12. Dante said on July 26, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    For mission critical computers, I generally use ECC RAM which has built in automatic error correction capabilities. Saves a lot of headaches.

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